A highly anomalous Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) song
Keywords:Red-winged Blackbird, song development, song anomaly, deaf, deafness in birds, song physiology, bioacoustics
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) is a highly vocal species with a repertoire of similar, yet acoustically distinct songs. These songs may be altered drastically if, as a nestling, the male goes deaf or becomes acoustically isolated. In deaf Red-winged Blackbirds, these dramatic song alterations may present as songs bearing slight resemblance to the introductory phrase of their normal song. Here, we present a Red-winged Blackbird song observed in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, that is far outside any normal variation in Red-winged Blackbird songs. Given the individual’s age and the consistency of the anomalous song, it is possible that this is a deaf bird.
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